10 Essential Elements of Your B2B Healthcare Marketing Strategy
Since there is an enormous competition in the healthcare market, it’s time to up your ante! With the exploding number of competitors out there, you have to stand out and get your voice heard as a business. Of course, this can be an uphill task, but by any means, it’s not an impossible feat to achieve. In this post, you’ll gain some of the core insights on what you can do to create a winning marketing strategy.
When it comes to B2B healthcare marketing strategies, there are many different forms, some of which might work or not! Now let’s delve straight in and find out some of the core elements of an outstanding marketing strategy.
1. Get Laser Focused On Your Important Buyers
To boost your efforts with B2B healthcare marketing, you got to have a crystal clear idea of whom you are selling to. This is when a buyer persona comes into play, which is nothing, but a fictional character you build that represents your ideal target customer. You can easily build buyers personas based on specific factors like demographics, behavioral patterns, roles, responsibilities, challenges, and objectives.
A B2B healthcare marketing strategy will have an utterly different buyer persona and is geared towards offering solutions or products to healthcare institutions. Instead of targeting a patient looking for aid, you may be targeting a hospital in dire need of an EHR system upgrade, for instance. According to HITMC, 72% of prospects begin with a search and B2B buyers are anywhere from 60% to 90% down the buying cycle once they decide to reach out to a vendor. These buyers have their own set of challenges and issues. By comprehending their unique challenges and addressing those issues, you’ll be better equipped to build the perfect marketing content to engage them and boost the outcome.
This requires a lot of research and time from your end; nonetheless, it’s well worth the workload. There are some easy techniques to gather details about your target customers like social media analytics and Google analytics to name a few. You’ll also be able to use this information for other projects and campaigns down the line. In addition, you can use it while aligning your marketing and sales team too. There is a whole array of benefits for building your ideal buyer personas; however, you’ll not be able to derive these benefits until and unless you map the specific factors as mentioned above.
2. Define The Buying Cycle Of Your Ideal Byers
Building your buyer persona is just one element, but mapping out their purchasing process is another journey. You got to ensure that you understand your buyer’s journey right from the beginning till the end. Sketching common paths that guide your customers through a refined process is very crucial. Once you outline these paths, you’ll find out what stage your customers are at with respect to your business.
Given below are the three stages:
- Awareness Stage –This consists of the initial stage of the buyer’s journey where the buyer becomes aware of their pain or problem and is desperate to get their issues solved. This is where you provide them the much-needed information that helps them clearly understand the situation they are in and define their problems. What you are basically doing here is raising awareness!
- Consideration Stage-This is the phase where your buyers know their pain points and how to solve each one of them. You present them with many alternatives that would be a solution to their requirements. Your buyer will now view each of these options and find out the most feasible one.
- Decision Stage– Once your perfect buyer reaches this stage, they will begin the process of making a formidable decision. This is the time when you have to make them understand the benefits and drawbacks of their decision, and what makes you unique from all the competitors in the market.
Targeting your potential customers with high-quality content that acts as a magic wand to their needs will result in greater engagement and a huge number of leads coming in your way. These three phases of the buyer’s purchasing cycle are critical to your overall marketing strategy
3. Leverage Quality And Premium Content
An effective way to engage with your prospects and present customers is through strategic creation of content. A recent report by HubSpot indicates that B2B firms that use healthcare B2B marketing tactics to craft content often pull in more leads compared to those that don’t. Once you develop a clear buyer persona for every persona and map out the buyer’s journey, ensure your content addresses their specific questions and challenges. This assists in building trust and boosts the chances of converting visitors into qualified leads, which can convert into a whole lot of opportunities. Another important element is to consistently publish engaging and in-depth content, preferably twice a week or even more if you can. And never forget to include CTA in your blog posts as this encourages readers to join your mailing list. Building a trustable relationship with your ideal customers merely through blogging can lead to increased sales, eventually making your B2B marketing strategy more impactful.
Quality content still rules the roost and should be approached in the same manner. If your target audience is able to take away applicable and relevant information from your content in return for their personal information, you just fostered a relationship and a fresh lead. Now it’s time to strengthen that bond, and you’d want them to come back for more educative and interesting content on their topics of interest.
4. Nurture Your Leads
Now that you’ve started generating leads, it’s time to convert them into qualified leads and eventually into purchasers. Two of the best ways of doing this are through chatting online or an automated email series. Segment your list based on the buyer’s journey and create relevant content for each of these segments. Share links to your recent posts and keep in touch with your leads. Remember that not everyone is ready to buy just right off the bat. This is where lead nurturing plays a pivotal role. Your job should be to update your leads with recent industry developments so that they are aware of the latest information. Give them firsthand information about discounts or new offers as well. However, never bombard them with excessive phone calls or emails too soon. They might get overwhelmed and unsubscribe from your mailing list.
Ensure your marketing or sales team to time the interactions with your acquired leads. Closing the deal is an art in itself, so ensure your sales team understands this process well.
5. Keep Yourself Updated Within Latest Industry Trends
There are always new changes, updates and innovations in any given industry, but it’s your responsibility to stay ahead of the pack. Keep yourself well informed on what’s happening in your realm. Pose questions like….what are the new methods of marketing, how Facebook ads can drive your business, which software you can use to drive sales and so on. What techniques are the leading competitors applying from which you can gain insights to grow your business? Who are the emerging and new businesses in your industry? What are the best available technologies? Where is your industry heading to in the next couple of years? Once you have the required information, it will help you create an effective inbound and content marketing plan.
Updated knowledge of the industry is invaluable to your content creation process, particularly in the healthcare segment. So keep yourself updated so as to remain ahead of your competitors.
6. Build A Strategy For Unique Healthcare Buying Cycles
B2B sales cycles in the health care industry are analogous to a marathon. In fact, approximately 43% of sales are made within the first 6 months, while the longest can take up to roughly 2 years. To combat these long purchasing cycles, you need continuous and consistent uploads of media to keep your buyers engaged besides methods like retargeting efforts and lead nurturing.
For instance, if a purchasing committee houses many personas, with segmented retargeting, you should target each persona with different types of content to engage them in different ways. Content designed for a hospital administrator will be totally different than content geared towards a lead surgeon, as an example.
To bolster your B2B healthcare marketing efforts, implement Account Based Marketing (ABM) techniques. ABM consists of a cumulative and concentrated effort that purely focuses on enabling the sales team to accelerate outreach and prospecting. Since healthcare buying cycles are pretty long, you’ll have to accelerate the process. What you need is targeted outreach with ABM.
The fundamental objective here is to waste less time on awful prospects and empower the sales team with a structured process that well aligns with your digital marketing strategy.
7. S.M.A.R.T. Business Goals
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Once you start creating objectives for marketing, or when you get the required information from team members about business objectives, ensure they are SMART. For instance, one of your marketing goals maybe to increase leads. Just stating you want more number of leads isn’t adequate. Instead, a SMART objective would be : greater inbound leads by 15% Month-over-Month by the end of the given year. SMART objectives are not only easier to track, but they assist others in understanding exactly what you want to achieve and how your techniques can make the objective a reality.
Besides having SMART objectives, you should also segment your goals. You can break your objectives as given below:
- Business Goals-Business goals relate to the goals of the entire company. They are important to know as you can get a clearer picture. For example, how can marketing help move the needle for your company this year? Having this data will help prove the ROI of all your efforts.
- Marketing Goals-When creating SMART marketing objectives, it’s best to break them down into other elements. For instance, what do you want to achieve with inbound marketing? How do these objectives differ from your normal, outbound marketing efforts? Do you have important objectives for a specific channel? Do you require more blogging? More webinars? You need to include all of these objectives into your marketing plan. This way you can best focus your resources.
- Sales Goals-When marketing aids the entire sales team fill their funnel with quality leads, the battle is won. So try to understand the requirements of the sales team-the duration of the sales cycle from lead to patient/customers, the numbers they need to hit, the support materials they require and so on. Once you have an idea of these elements, you can include various objectives in your marketing strategy to assist in meeting those needs.
8. Lead Identification Overview
As stated above, you got to have a clear understanding of how your B2B marketing efforts tie in with the efforts of your sales team. When creating your healthcare marketing plan, get into the intricacies of the sales process. Include the pain points of the buyer, the best sources of lead, common sales objections, the reason why customers buy, and an overview of the entire buying process. It’s equally helpful for marketers to sometimes sit in on sales calls.
Besides these factors, your entire team should agree upon lead identification requirements (what defines a sales qualified lead, what defines a marketing qualified lead etc). This ensures that everyone is one the same page with respect to leads and goals.
9. Influencer Marketing
In truth, influencer marketing is not something new to the healthcare industry. In simpler terms, influencers are people whom the general public trusts on certain issues to make recommendations. Remember those “9 out of 10 surgeons recommend….” advertisements on television? Those were the early days of influencer marketing, and it’s sensible enough to use this strategy in the B2B healthcare industry.
The key now is how to do influencer marketing the right way. Marketers certainly want to follow the best practices for influencer marketing. The first step includes choosing influencers (advocates, patients, physicians etc.) who have mammoth social media followings and also an engaged audience. Read the feedback from their followers. Do these influencers stir any comments? And do they respond to queries and comments? After all, influencers with large fan followings but zero comments are relying heavily on paid likes and bots to pad their social media profiles.
The next step includes looking at the channels used by the influencers. Marketers want to work with influencers who are active beyond Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. It’s a great idea to use influencers with a wider reach that spawns print media and television. Influencer marketing campaigns yield 11 times higher ROI compared to other types of promoted content. So you’d like to adopt an influencer marketing strategy sooner than later.
10. Thought Leadership
It’s increasingly apparent that to maximize the effectiveness in the B2B healthcare industry, marketers have to position themselves and their companies as thought leaders within the sector. A study by Edelman and LinkedIn discovered a number of eye-catching revelations, which included that thought leaders within an industry, received greater number of request for proposal invitations. On the contrary, those who didn’t position themselves strongly as thought leaders lost lucrative business opportunities.
The same study stated that roughly 55% of C-Suite executives give important information to marketers whose brands are seen as thought leaders. Furthermore, 89% of C-Suite executives acknowledged a growth in respect for the same organizations.
Conclusion: Focus on Value
To summarize, align your sales pipeline with the new shift in purchasing behavior. Define your buyer persona, look at the pain points of your prospects and ensure that you’re educating and solving their problems in every step of the way with your marketing strategy. Tailor your content for your target audience. And above all, reinforce the value you provide over that of all the competition out there.